One of the things I’ve always enjoyed about December is flipping through the pages of my family’s Christmas books. As a child, I always thought the pictures were bright and colorful. The smooth pages showed a world of joy and excitement. I found this to be especially true of two Christmas books in particular.
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The Polar Express
The first of these childhood Christmas books is The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg. Long before I knew how to read I would look through this book at the beautiful pictures and dream of traveling to the North Pole. The pictures of the reindeer and running wolves were always my favorite.
Reading the words brought new life to the pictures I had grown to love. The story was as beautiful as the illustrations had always made it seem. On Christmas Eve a child boards a magical train that whisks him away to the North Pole, where he meets Santa and his reindeer. What kid wouldn’t love for this to happen?
My mom would always choke up at the end of The Polar Express, which I never understood when I was younger. I’ve come to understand it more as I’ve gotten older. In a way, the ending showcases the magic of Christmas. I won’t give anything away, because there may be those who haven’t yet read this iconic story.
Get it here – The Polar Express
The Small One
The second of these childhood Christmas books is The Small One. It’s important to note that there are two versions of this book. The original, by Charles Tazwell, is not the one I’m familiar with. This is the original, however, and the story appears to be essentially the same. The Alex Walsh version is the one I grew up with, though, so that’s the one to which I’ll be referring.
The Small One was, without a doubt, my favorite book to look at around Christmastime. I say look at because that’s usually all I did. It was a longer story so I spent most of my time admiring the illustrations. The story focuses on a boy and his favorite donkey, which has grown old and must be sold. This sad premise has a heartwarming ending that gets me every time. It’s the kind of story that makes you really appreciate any pets you might have.
Get it here – The Small One
Let’s Read Some Christmas Books
If you find yourself lacking in Christmas spirit this year either of these Christmas books should do the trick. Also, if you’re not the reading type, both books have movie adaptations. The Polar Express takes a lot of liberties, but it’s entertaining enough. The Small One, on the other hand, is a great movie. It’s one I watched every single year until it was no longer available at my local library. I’ve since acquired a somewhat rare copy and will once again be watching it every year.
I somehow always forget how much I actually enjoy the Christmas season until it rolls around again. I love the twinkling lights and the incredible smells. It makes me feel warm and inspires reminiscing of days gone by. It’s a beautiful season, and even though there isn’t any snow here in San Diego I’ve still managed to catch the Christmas bug. Wherever you may be, I hope you’re able to enjoy this wonderful season.